The Hyperloop: NYC to LA In 45 Minutes

In 2013, Elon Musk introduced the “Hyperloop” concept: the idea “capsules” holding six-to-eight people could, and would, soar through the sky at 760 mph in air-free tubes to get from point A to point B in, literally, a fraction of the time. Now, thanks to Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, Inc., Musk’s idea has come to fruition. The crowd-sourced tech startup has been working out a concept to reach speeds of up to 4,000 mph to get from NYC to LA in 45 minutes and from NYC to Beijing in roughly two hours.

Last year, Musk gave a detailed description of what he one day hoped to achieve. “Hyperloop consists of a low pressure tube with capsules that are transported at both low and high speeds throughout the length of the tube. The capsules are supported on a cushion of air. You want a transport system that is roughly twice as fast as the next best alternative, that costs less, that is safer, that is not subject to weather and is more convenient.” The solar-powered, pressurized capsules would depart every 30 seconds and hold course with the help of magnets doubling as accelerators. The capsules would also include an emergency break system.

Fast forward almost a year later and more than 100 part-time engineers from NASA, Airbus, Boing, SpaceX, and 25 students from UCLA’s Suprastudio Design and Architecture program are working on the designs and logistics of Hyperloop, sending emails pregnant with ideas back and forth by the minute. The plans will also get a helping hand from California-based JumpStartFund, a crowd-sourcing site which helps catapult ambitious ideas into reality.

Together with JumpStartFund’s CEO Dirk Ahlborn, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies revealed their multitalented team is building a series of prototypes set for release in 2015. The even bigger surprise was they believe the first fully functioning flight could take off in this decade.

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